About Me

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Hi, I'm Darryll and I live in Pullman, Washington with my wife and two kids. I'm a licensed Architect and am employed as a Project Manager at Washington State University. In addition, I have my own business doing residential designs in the greater Palouse area. I am a self-taught pianist, song-writer and singer and am involved in the music department at my local church.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


(well - better later than never...)

So - As I was reminiscing about what this holiday was like back in the '70s, there were a couple of things that I remembered so vividly.

The first was making Halloween drawings and cutouts.  Piles of orange and black construction paper and our imagination.  Witches, ghosts, jack-o-lanterns, skeletons, old dead trees, tombstones, bats, etc.  We would spend hours making all of these things.  We would decorate the windows and the walls and anything else mom would let us tape to.

The other things was candy.  My brother, cousin and I would go out together and we would draw out maps of our neighborhood and plan our routes.  We would start as early as we could and stay out a late as possible for maximum candy!

One other thing - a friend of mine and I made a little haunted house.  Our big thing was wet pieces of string hanging down that felt like sticky cobwebs.

It was fun - I hope kids still have as much fun today doing handmade stuff as we did back in the day!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

 So - starting tomorrow we get to see all the new shows for the season... what are they calling it... season premier week?  It's pretty cool to see the Charlie's Angels coming back, and of course - Hawaii 5-0 is still a big hit and going strong!

Throw in the new show, Pan Am, which appears to be set in the '70s, and Playboy - which I will NOT be watching (I have too much respect for my wife to do that), and it looks like we'll have plenty of nostalgia on the tube.
It will be interesting to see how the new shows do.  Gotta love the '70s!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I am still here... honest :)

I have been so incredibly busy!  I know, I know – that’s no excuse, I should still be able to throw up a blog posting at LEAST once a week.  I’ll try to get better, really, I will.

Work has been very busy and we just had 14 of our 60 person department let go due to budget cuts, so I am working hard to stay busy and valuable there!  I have seniority (almost 20 years) and am pretty secure in my position, but let me tell you, I was relieved that I found out about the whole layoff thing through an office email explaining what had happened, as opposed to being one of the unfortunate ones who was let go.

In my side business, I have a beautiful new home that I’m in the middle of designing.  Right now it’s at 4,500 SF and is located on the top of a local mountain with an incredibly commanding view of the surrounding area.  Here are a couple of sketchup views of it.  Click on them to see the pics at full size...  We’re still in the midst of design, but this is a fun challenge.  Even though it’s a huge home, the clients are trying to give it a “small cottage in the forest” feel – think Thomas Kinkade.

On top of this, I’m trying to at least put in a front yard on our 3½ acres this summer so we don’t have a muddy mess for the second year in a row this winter.  The “little” front yard is 3000 SF.  This will at least get us started.

My ‘70s comment today – I’ve seen and, of course, LOVED “Super 8” when it was in the theaters awhile back.  I told my friends that JJ Abrams was incredibly successful in that as I watched the movie, I felt like I was watching a movie that was MADE back in 1979.  The ONLY issue I had with it is that I don’t think kids carried backpacks back then… at least I didn’t in ’77 when I graduated.  Maybe I’m wrong – maybe they became the thing within 2 years of my having left the high school scene.  Actually – it’s hard to imagine that they would have gotten that wrong, so I’m probably off.

Friday, June 17, 2011

'70s Cars Now

The Fast and the Furious

Well - In my book I spend some time talking about how awesome the muscle cars from the '70 were.  It's weird, but some of these vehicles are so HOT that it makes me just really want them.  I am so amazed that they use so many of these incredible cars on TV shows and movies today.  I have pulled a few pics off the web and I show them here with labels of the movies they're from.  And - to me - the only cars that compare with these iconic muscle cars are the retro versions of them that they are re-creating and getting out on the market today.

Death Proof
Does make me wish that I had never sold my '73 Camaro... although at the time I didn't really have an option.  There we were - a young married couple, new baby on the way... an '85 Accord made a lot more sense than a big 2-door sporty car.  Of course, now that the kids are all grown up and I'm looking for a mid-life celebration (not crisis) toy - Ive got my eyes on a new Corvette, or a new Camaro.   Donations are welcome! :)
The Fast and Furious


Gone in 60 Seconds

Death Proof
Gone in 60 Seconds

Nash Bridges
Burn Notice

The Fast and Furious

Thursday, May 5, 2011

You gotta wonder...

Today I read a web posting that posed the question "Is cursive writing a dying art?"  It mentioned that cursive used to be taught from 3rd thru 6th grade, and now it is often only taught in 3rd grade.

I remember that we used to do what seemed like page after page of practicing cursive letters in what seemed like every grade in grade school.  It was always the same - the page would start out great and about halfway through you could tell that I was getting tired or bored.  Those capital "s"s started getting skinny and laying down!  I always hated getting those pages back and the whole last line was crossed out and I had to redo them.  Of course,we could all write pretty well and legibly.  We didn't have an option!  We had to write.  We also didn't have the option of using a computer or even a typewriter.  Everything was handwritten, and everything was cursive.

I think that it was sometime in high school when we didn't have to always write in cursive any more.  Somewhere along in there I stopped writing cursive all together except for my signature.  One of the questions in the article was whether kids today will even have their signatures in cursive... an interesting thought.  Every now and then I try to write in cursive and it's hard!  I have to take my time and concentrate really hard to remember some things... like the tricks of how to tie the different letters together,  and what a capital Q looks like, and that an "m" has three, not only two bumps.

I have tried to make it a habit as of late to write some things in cursive - you know - try to hold onto the skills that I have before they all fade away.   My wife is incredible - she has beautiful handwriting and her cursive is wonderful to read - a real work of art.  I think that there may be a guy/girl factor in this whole thing, too.  The letter on the left could have been written by me.

What about all of you?  Do you still write in cursive at all?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Poor Man's Pop Tarts

I finally found some information on what I thought I remembered... but I just couldn't remember exactly what they were called.  When we were kids, our mom had a tight grocery budget.  This was before the generic brand episode of grocery lore, but our family had a lot of the store brands.

Kellogg's Pop Tarts were what the other more well-off families had.  We had Post Toastem's.  They were good, they weren't Kellogg's but they were good.  There were a lot of different fruit flavored and frosting covered pastries, but the ones that were so cool that we loved - that we just had to have - were the Post Toastem Animals.

There were Munch-a-Berry Monkees, Tuti-Fruiti Owls, Peanut Butter Buffaloes, Berry Bears, Chocolate Flavored Elephants and Cinnamon Lions.  My brother and I both had our favorites - mine were the chocolate flavored Elephants, his were the Peanut Butter Buffaloes,  .  What was really cool was how the animals were on the pastries.  They were kind of "stitched" onto the front of the pastries, so we always ate around the stitching and had the shape of the animal left to eat last.  You got cool stickers that glowed in the dark, too!

Here's a commercial from the '70s for them...notice how the hunter looks like Cap'n Crunch's  brother... (can't figure out how to re-size this... :(

Friday, April 1, 2011

Putting Pen to Paper

Anymore, this is really just a saying.  When was the last time any of us really took pen or pencil to paper and wrote someone a letter?  I would bet that we all have written a bunch of letters in our time.  The obligatory thank you letters to grandmas, grandpas and in-laws for Christmas and birthday gifts; the letters to Santa Claus asking for all those special gifts; most of us even wrote letters to some elected official as part of our schooling.
As I shared, I’ve been going through some old boxes.  I ran across a bunch of letters and was reading them to my daughter.  I read one where my brother wrote to me when I was in college and asked me to forgive him for peeling out in my Camaro.  You see, he had dropped me off at a friend’s house whom I was riding back to school with, and had shown off in my car as he left and broke the tires loose. (It was a sweet car!)  This was in a letter I received about a week and a half later.

It hit me that this was the soonest he could’ve talked to me about it.  Of course, we didn’t have cell phones back then.  No texting.  Long distance calls were expensive – like charged by the minute.  My family and I would arrange to talk on the phone and would usually have at least 2 weeks between calls because it was so expensive to talk long distance.  This concept was lost on my daughter.  In these days of instant communication, the idea that it would have been this long before we could actually talk about it was unfathomable to my her.

Anyway – we could sure surprise some of our family or friends if we actually physically wrote them a letter and sent it to them in the mail…

Think about it… it might be fun just for the reaction!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tuni Hat

 Toony hat?

Tuni hat?
Tuney hat?

One of the advantages of moving is that in order to properly move in you need to go through all of your old boxes and sort / clean / organize them.  I found a box of my old childhood items and I think I may have a few interesting posts as a result...

This is my old fishing hat.  I found it in the Cascades when we were backpacking one year - I was 11 or so at the time.  We had seen a guy on the trail earlier in the day wearing it, but we never came across him again.  So - I became the new owner.

My Grandpa on my dad's side had some a LOT of funny made-up words.  We don't know where he got them all, but they were all very unique, and just about the time you think he'd run out, he'd have another one in his hip pocket.  He called my hat a (you pick the spelling) tuni hat.

We all know that it's very common for kids to be attached to something growing up.  Favorite blankets, pillows, a shirt or pair of cowboy boots - I even knew a girl who says she had a board she took with her everywhere.  Well - I got pretty attached to my tuni hat.  Not only did I wear it at all the appropriate times (camping, backpacking, yard-work) I also wore it 90% of the rest of the day.  And - remember I was a tween and young teen in the '70s - it was a great excuse to not wash my hair.  Suffice it to say that it had its fair share of sweat, grime, grease and dirt over the years.

My brother and cousin wanted tuni hats too, so we could all be cool together, so they started asking for them for gifts.  One of our funny family stories is that of my Grandmother on my mom's side - a fairly proper woman - going into a JCPennys and telling the clerk in the boys wear that she wanted to buy a tuni hat for her grandson, and could he direct her to them?  I can still imagine the look on the face of that clerk because she was very insistent that her one grandson had one, her other grandson wanted one, and she wanted to buy it for him!  We still laugh about that one to this day.

Anyway - I eventually (I think around 11th grade) stopped wearing my tuni hat.  As you can see from the pictures, it's seen better days.

Did any of you have something - clothing or other - that was your "security blanket" growing up?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

This never hapens to me!

Had to do a follow up on this...  and thanks, so much, for those who either voted or attempted to vote for me.  Or even if you just thought “I hope he wins” in the back of your mind.

This never happens to me, but I actually won the new chair contest!  It’s a $569.00 chair from National Business Furniture (lists for $900).  Now I ask you 0 who is able to spend that kind of money on an office chair?  I know I sure can’t.  I felt like I was really splurging when I spent over $200 a few years back on a nice chair from Staples.  Here’s how that chair looks now:

The amazing thing is that after I’d had it only a couple of months a seam started to loosen up.  I documented it and sent a “what am I supposed to do now?” letter to them.  They offered to either replace the chair or refund me the entire price.  Well – I took the money and ran, and ended up with a “free” chair that lasted me a good five years.  But it was time to get a new one.  I had been looking for awhile when I happened upon this contest.

What’s crazy is that only like 35 people entered their chairs and I won with only 24 votes.  Next closest was a chair with 20 votes and then one with 7!  The voting process was a little complicated and not explained very well.  But – I’m not complaining!  I have a brand new $569 (list price $900) office chair en route to me even as we speak.  Here are some pics of my new chair!

Pretty snazzy, huh!?!

Now if I can only win the HGTV home in Vermont on the 18th… oh, I voted!  Don’t worry, I voted almost every day for the duration of the contest.

Here’s hoping!